Building Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

If there’s budding prime minister or captain of national sports team attending secondary school at the moment, it’s hoped that there’s now venue for growing these leaders.
That’s the idea behind the Young Leaders Days – held for the first time recently in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. From range of speakers from television presenters, business people, sports, and politicians, students got the chance to hear about the highs and lows of leading and leadership.
The event, which attracted 1500 students from 41 percent of schools around the country, was considered success by both teachers and students.
After listening to speakers, students were motivated and inspired by their success and failure – says national director, Annette Johnson who organises the event.
She modelled the event on Young Leaders Days held in Australia for the past six years.
After visiting there last year, she was asked to put together similar one here.
Readers Digest, which sponsors the Australian event, sponsored the New Zealand one, and the University of Auckland also agreed to sponsorship.
Students attending were head and deputy prefects, sports captains or held some leadership position. “They didn’t necessarily need to be academic students, but people who would be good role models,” says Johnson.
Each school got the opportunity to attend and some schools like New Plymouth sent 40 people.
“This is great forum to motivate and inspire young people.
“The biggest result was it changes their lives. They are inspired to be better leaders in school and in the community. In room of 750 you don’t know who’s likely to be the next prime minister, but the message that comes from the event is that you can do it.
“That’s message we don’t give these young people enough.
“The wide range of speakers talked about their experience in leading and gave them confidence – that’s the key to growing leaders.”

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